On Sportsnet 590 in Toronto this afternoon, Florida Panthers executive Dale Tallon—who is involved in the day-to-day operations of the Panthers—spoke about the trade deadline and how they will address any weaknesses. He mentioned that the team may look at short-term help, including something that could spark a struggling powerplay. The Panthers rank 27th in the league on the PP at just 15%.
Now with a team mostly healthy, Florida has launched themselves back into the playoff race with a solid last few weeks. While obviously the big names like Kevin Shattenkirk would help any team’s powerplay, smaller targets are likely more on the Panthers’ radar. In fact, Tallon said that they would not deal off their roster to improve, meaning the big ticket players aren’t on the menu. He said that the term is important because they don’t want to block any players that are in their system.
Forwards like Patrick Eaves and Radim Vrbata have plenty of powerplay experience, and aren’t expected to cost more than a few draft picks at the deadline. The Panthers do have an extra third round pick this season that looks like it’ll be pretty valuable—it’s from the Coyotes. The interesting thing is that their weak powerplay is probably just a byproduct of having Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov out for so long this season, and could easily be expected to get back on track now that both have returned. Either way, it’s clear that the Panthers will be buyers at the deadline despite not being involved in any of the big names.